At 3:44 AM on August 29, 2020, an officer assigned to the Impaired Driving Enforcement Unit (IDEU) conducted a traffic stop on a 2007 blue Chevy Colorado after witnessing the driver make a wide turn, straddle two lanes of traffic, and follow too closely behind the vehicle in front of it. The IDEU officer activated his patrol vehicle’s emergency lights. The Chevy’s driver, later identified as 49-year-old Richard L. Eaton JR, came to an abrupt stop in the roadway on Halligan Street near Muldoon Road. Eaton exited his truck and ran at the officer’s car while reaching towards his waistband with one of his hands. The officer put his car in reverse and gave Eaton commands to stop. Initially Eaton continued to charge at the driver’s side of the patrol car. Eventually he stopped, walked back to the Chevy, and drove away.
The IDEU officer, with his lights still activated, followed Eaton who ran a red light and continued northbound on Muldoon. The Chevy’s tailgate had partially come off and was being drug on the pavement which caused sparks to fly. Eaton was jerking the pickup back and forth in his lane of travel before stopping on the 1400-block of Muldoon. Eaton jumped out of his truck, while holding a pen in one hand, and began walking towards the IDEU officer. Eaton then stopped, picked up the tailgate, and threw it into the bed of the Chevy; the tailgate hit and broke the truck’s rear window. As other officers arrived at the scene, Eaton yelled at them, challenged them to fight, paced back and forth, refused to obey commands, and then attempted to get back into the driver’s seat of his truck. Due to Eaton’s previous erratic and dangerous driving behavior, an officer deployed his Taser. Eaton remained standing and swiped away the Taser wires with his hands. He continued to wave his arms and was posturing to fight. A second officer deployed a Taser and this time Eaton fell to the ground. Multiple officers went to the ground with Eaton in an attempt to handcuff him. During the struggle Eaton continued to physically resist. Eaton bit one officer twice and attempted to bite another.
After the handcuffs were applied Eaton resumed kicking and struggling as the officers attempted to walk him over to a patrol vehicle. Eaton, who refused to cooperate and follow commands, was escorted to the ground where he was placed into full restraints. Eaton was taken to the jail where he provided a breath sample showing no alcohol in his system. Eaton was transported to a hospital for medical clearance; while there his blood was drawn subsequent to a search warrant being obtained.
Eaton was remanded at the Anchorage Jail on two outstanding warrants (one for Assault III and IV charges and the other for Fail to Appear on an original Assault charge). He was additionally charged with Fail to Stop I, Resisting Arrest, Assault IV, and Operating under the Influence (of suspected drugs).
Two officers had visible injuries, which had been sustained during the handcuffing process, but neither required treatment at a hospital.
APD Case 20-27112